James H. Bosard


Arrest of Mr. J. H. Bosard. Considerable surprise was manifested by the citizens of Grand Forks last Thursday upon the arrest of Mr. J. H. Bosard, an attorney from Pennsylvania, who recently established himself in the law business in this place. The arrest was made by Sheriff Fadden upon authority from Gov. Howard, who caused the warrant to be issued in compliance with a demand from the Governor of Pennsylvania, for alleged embezzlement committed in that State. Mr. S. J. Hill, of Fargo, who had been officially selected by the Governor of Pennsylvania to convey Mr. Bosard to his old home in Tioga county, Pa., was the bearer of the warrant, and to whose custody Mr. Bosard was transferred by Sheriff Fadden after the arrest. Mr. Bosard’s version of the case reveals no criminal intent on his part to defraud or wrong any of his creditors. He became embarrassed in business in the east and took such honorable means as was in his power to adjust his difficulties, which he succeeded in doing except in this instance. He was indicted and arrested, but when the case was brought to trial, the judge dismissed it on the grounds of insufficiency of evidence. Not satisfied with this action, his insatiate tormentor again brought the case before the grand jury, and through his representations Mr. B. was again indicted and his arrest caused as above set forth. The whole proceeding looks very much as if Mr. Bosard’s persecutor wished to annoy and humiliate him, and put him to as much trouble and expense as possible. We feel confident that Mr. Bosard will disentangle himself from the legal spider-web woven about him, and return to Grand Forks in a short time and continue the practice of his profession. Although a resident here but a few months, Mr. Bosard has won the confidence and esteem of a large number of our citizens, who sincerely wish that he may speedily emerge from his sea of troubles and return in due time. (Grand Forks Herald, Thursday, July 31, 1879, Volume I, Number 6, Page 4)

Page 678. JAMES H. BOSARD, senior member of the firm of Bosard & Bosard, attorneys-at-law, of Grand Forks, has followed his profession in that city since the early days of its history, and is well known throughout the state as a man of broad mind and executive ability. He has been closely connected with the prosperity of the country, and has in every way shown himself to be a man in whom the people can repose their trust, as the important affairs of his community have his earnest support. He has gradually built up an extensive law practice and has long stood with those at the head of the North Dakota bar. Our subject was born at Osceola, Pennsylvania, April 21, 1845, and was the son of Andrew K. and Hittie (Cilley) Bosard, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. His father was a farmer and cabinet maker, and lived and died in Pennsylvania. He was assistant provost marshal in Pennsylvania during the Rebellion, and engaged in enlisting men. He was colonel of the Pennsylvania state militia in 1849. The grandfather of our subject, Andrew Bosard, was a native of Monroe county, Pennsylvania, and served in the war of 1812 as a non-commissioned officer.

Our subject has two brothers living, one at Emerado, North Dakota, and the other brother at Grand Forks. James H. Bosard was reared and educated in the public schools of his native state, and graduated from the State Normal, after which he taught school two years in New York. He began reading law at Wellsborough, Pennsylvania, with M. F. Elliott, in 1868, and was admitted to the bar from his office in 1870, and remained as his partner seven years. He came to Grand Forks, North Dakota, in May, 1879, and established himself in his profession, since which time he has been increasing his practice, and the present prosperous and extensive business in which he and his son, Robert H., are partners, is due largely to his efforts. James H. Bosard was married, in 1872, to Rebecca Faulkner, of Erie, Pennsylvania. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bosard, as

Page 681. follows: Florence H., Robert H., Helen D., now the wife of Captain C. S. Farnsworth, of the United States Army; Gerald F., Sarah K. and Daphne. Mr. Bosard is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having passed the Knights Templar degree, and is also a member of the Order of Foresters. He was state’s attorney for Grand Forks county in 1891-92, and city attorney two years, in 1894-95. He is the owner of Bosard’s Jersey dairy of Grand Forks. Politically he has advocated the principles of the Republican party during his entire career, and has traveled over the county and state in defense of those principles. He is a forcible speaker and convincing in his arguments, and takes great interest in the affairs of his local government. A portrait of Mr. Bosard will be found on another page. (Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Geo. A. Ogle & Co, Chicago, 1900)

THE DAKOTA INVESTMENT COMPANY, is the outgrowth of the business started by Jas. H. Bosard in 1879, continued as Bosard & Clifford in 1881, and Dakota Investment Co. in 1883. The increase in the volume of business, together with the desire to furnish a permanent agency for eastern investors, and the guaranteeing of loans, led to the company incorporating under the laws of the Territory of Dakota to do a general brokerage and banking business, with a paid cash capital of $50,000. The principal business of the company is in bonds and real estate first mortgage loans, on farm and city property, netting 8 per cent, the principal and interest which they guarantee if so desired by the investor; guaranteed loans netting 7 per cent. The officer of the company are: Jas. H. Bosard, Prest.; Geo. B. Clifford, Secretary; and Geo. A. Batchelder, Treasurer; and they are among the most enterprising business men of the city. We are pleased to note the success of the company. (Grand Forks and North Dakota Manual for 1885, William L. Dudley, Plaindealer Book and Job Rooms, Grand Forks, 1885, Page 144)

Dakota Thoroughbred Cattle Nursery. Not least among the many new and important enterprises of recent growth in Grand Forks is the Dakota Thoroughbred Cattle Nursery company, with a capital of $250,000. The officers of the company are: Jno. L. Lewis of St. Paul, President; C. Jno. Alloway of Grand Forks, Vice-President and General Manager; J. H. Bosard, Grand Forks, Secretary. The object of this company is the importing and breeding of thoroughbred cattle, and for this purpose have secured some 2,000 acres in the immediate vicinity of Grand Forks. Although but one year established, this enterprise has been instrumental in bringing about marked changes in the breeding of cattle in this and contiguous counties. In proof of this assertion we need only refer to the quality of the cattle exhibited at the North Dakota exposition held in this city last September. The company have at present a herd of thoroughbred Polled Angus and Hereford cattle numbering three hundred head, about one hundred and fifty of each breed. It is the intention of the management to direct special attention towards meeting the wants of the western and northwestern ranges and otherwise raise the standard of an industry that is rapidly developing in this territory. With the advantages possessed by the company it is believed that better animals for range purposes, and our northern clime generally, can be produced here than in more southerly and milder climates. Abundance of feed, both native and cultivated, a steady, regular proximity to the localities where the need and demand for such cattle exist, are among the advantages claimed in favor of North Dakota for the growing of live stock. That the enterprise will, in the near future, be of substantial benefit to this section there can be little doubt and that the agriculturalists of Northern Dakota and Minnesota appreciate this fact is evidenced by the large number who have visited this new stock farm since its establishment. Among the many points of interest in and about Grand Forks none is visited more frequently than the buildings and grounds of the Dakota Thoroughbred Cattle Nursery. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Sunday Morning, December 19, 1886, Volume 11, Number 42, Page 5)

DEATH CLAIMS J. H. BOSARD. Leading Attorney and Prominent Resident Dies at His Home. Death is a Great Shock to His Friends as His Illness Was Brief – Paralysis of the Brain Causes Demise – Sketch of the Career of the Busy and Popular Attorney – Has Record to Be Proud Of. J. H. Bosard, one of the leading attorneys of Grand Forks, and a pioneer resident of Grand Forks, died at his home, 613 Eighth avenue, at 7:15 last evening, after an illness which was considered to be seriously only a short time before his death. Paralysis of the brain, resulting from an abscess, caused his death. He had been ailing since an operation was performed about a week ago for a growth in his nose. Thursday he was confined to his home, but it was not considered that there was any cause for alarm. Yesterday morning his condition became so critical that it was decided to take him to the Deaconess hospital for an operation. It was decided by physicians that he could not withstand an operation, and, after being in the hospital two hours, he was taken to his home. He continued to grow weaker hourly and passed quietly away in the evening. His wife, son Robert of Minot, daughter Daphne, and son Gerald were at his bedside when the end came. Mrs. Ray Jackson and Mrs. J. S. Lawrence, daughters, who were in Minneapolis, will arrive this morning. Major Farnsworth and wife, the latter a daughter, will arrive Sunday morning from Detroit, Mich. The funeral arrangements have not been completed but it will probably be held Sunday afternoon, under the auspices of the Masons.

Sketch of His Life. James H. Bosard was born at Osceola, Pennsylvania, April 21, 1845, and was a son of Col. Andrew K. and Hittie Bosard, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of New Hampshire. His father was a farmer and cabinet maker and was assistant provost marshal in Pennsylvania during the rebellion. He was a colonel of the Pennsylvania state militia for some time. His father was a native of Pennsylvania and served in the war of 1812 as a non-commissioned officer. James H. Bosard was educated in the public schools of his native state and graduated from the Pennsylvania state normal school. After graduation he taught school for two years in New York, and in 1868 began reading law in the office of M. F. Elliot at Wellsborough, Pennsylvania. He was admitted to the bar in 1870 and engaged in the practice of law for seven years as a partner of Elliott.

Comes to Grand Forks. Mr. Bosard came to Grand Forks in May, 1879, and has been a resident of the city and engaged in the practice of his profession here ever since. He had long been recognized as one of the foremost members of the state bar and had been identified with much important litigation. He was also in constant demand as counsel in outside litigation. He was state’s attorney of Grand Forks county in 1891-2 and city attorney of Grand Forks in 1894-5. Mr. Bosard was for several years the honored president of the North Dakota Bar association, and was for some time also vice president for North Dakota of the National Bar association. Mr. Bosard was a life-long republican and took an active part in the councils of his party. He was a forceful and entertaining platform speaker and his services have always been in demand during a political campaign. He was the republican nominee for district judge in 1904, but was defeated by Judge Fisk.

Dairying Interests. Mr. Bosard engaged in farming besides looking after his extensive law practice, and made a specialty of dairying. He was widely known as one of the leading breeders of Jerseys in the northwest. He was one of the directors in the state fair association and of the Grand Forks county agricultural association. He devoted largely of his time and ability towards promoting the success of these enterprises. Mr. Bosard was a member of the Masonic fraternity, having passed the Knight Templar degree and was also a prominent member of the Foresters.

His Family. Mr. Bosard was married in 1872 to Miss Rebecca Faulkner, of Erie, Pa. He leaves a widow and six children, Florence H., now Mrs. J. Sidle Lawrence, of Los Angeles, Cal., Robert H., now practicing law at Minot, Helen D., now Mrs. Charles Farnsworth, wife of Major Farnsworth, U. S. A., stationed at Fort Wayne, Gerald F., Sarah K., now Mrs. Ray Jackson, of Grand Forks, and Daphne. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Saturday Morning, November 2, 1907, Volume XXVII, Number 2, Page 6)

FUNERAL OF J. H. BOSARD. IMPRESSIVE SERVICES ARE HELD UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE MASONS ATTENDANCE IS LARGE. In Memorial Park yesterday afternoon the remains of the late Attorney J. H. Bosard were laid in their last resting place. Seldom in the city’s history has a more impressive funeral service been held over one of her pioneer sons, a man connected in many ways prominently with the history of the early territorial days, the state, and his home city. At 1:30 the members of the bar, law students from the university and the Masonic order and Knight Templars of the city gathered at the Bosard home on Cottonwood street and marched in a body, leading the funeral cortege t the Presbyterian church, where a large gathering of sorrowing friends and relatives were assembled to do his memory honor. The coffin was almost buried in beautiful flowers, many coming as expressions of respect from prominent people over the state and at even greater distances, as well as from the old friends and neighbors at home. Alvin Clifford at the organ rendered the funeral music and as the last solemn strains of the funeral march died out, Mrs. W. E. Fuller in her sympathetic soprano rendered “One Sweetly Solemn Thought.” After prayer by Rev. W. H. Mathews, the Presbyterian pastor, N. B. Black rendered “Lead Kindly Light.”

Tribute to the Deceased. Rev. Matthews then in simple, kindly language, paid a tribute to the dead, beautiful in thought and fraught with comfort for the sorrowing hearts around him. He dwelt first on the character of the deceased as a man, his straightforward policies of life, idealistic in his iams, with an idealism almost beyond his time. Mr. Matthews paid tribute to the man as a citizen, his public life, his sojourn among friends and neighbors, and closed with the most beautiful thought of all, a tribute to his life in his home, his devotion to wife, children and everyone endeared to him.

Long Funeral Cortege. It was a long funeral cortege that followed the remains from the church to their last resting place in Memorial Park. The pallbearers were Messrs. D. M. Holmes, James Elton, James Twamley, Judge C. F. Templeton, Willis O. Joy and Judge R. M. Carothers. Honorary pallbearers were: W. L. Wilder, B. G. Skufason, W. K. Nash, George A. Bangs, A. I. Hunter and E. J. Lander.

Bereaved Relatives. Six children, four daughters, Mrs. J. Sidle Lawrence of Los Angeles, Cal., Mrs. Charles Farnsworth of Fort Wayne, Michigan, with their widowed mother, mourn his loss, besides his sister, Mrs. Mitchell, of Devils Lake, the only surviving member of his family. The death of the late James H. Bosard, is the third loss in the family in fifteen months. Last year his brother, Jerome Bosard, of this city, passed away and early this spring a sister, Mrs. Bierley, also an older resident of Grand Forks, passed away in her Canadian home, where she was with her daughter. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, November 5, 1907, Volume XXVII, Number 4, Page 6)

Page 255. SKETCH OF JAMES HUNTINGTON BOSARD. M. H. BRENNAN. No better pen picture of the boyhood and youth of the late James Huntington Bosard can be given then the following from a letter written by Hon. Charles Tubbs, of Osceola, Pa., an early friend and associate of our subject: “James Huntington Bosard was born April 21, 1845, at Osceola, Pa. (my native place), and was twenty-two months younger than myself. “In the common school we were playmates, seatmates, classmates. I can speak of his ancestry. I can speak of him during the years of his youth. “The name originally was Bosserdt. His great grandfather, Malachi, having emigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania at a date not definitely known. His paternal grandfather, Andrew, married Nancy Hammond, of Connecticut; her mother was Sibyl, daughter of James Huntington, a near relative of Samuel Huntington, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. For this great grandfather the subject of this sketch was named. Bosserdt, Bozzard, Bossard, Bosard, is the evolution the name has gone through in the process of Americanization. His father, Andrew Keller Bosard, began business life as a carpenter, but became a contractor, manufacturer, speculator and promoter. He had large local influence, was a colonel of militia and for twenty-two years a magistrate. His mother was Hetty Elvira Gibson Cilley, who was descended in the seventh generation from Captain Robert Seeley, who came to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1630. From the above recital it will be seen that J. H. Bosard in blood was one-fourth Pennsylvania German and three-fourths New England Yankee.

“He was physically a handsome child, had large expressive eyes peeping out beneath an ample brow. In mind he was precocious beyond any person I ever knew. He had an especial grasp of mathematics, being able in childhood to unravel the intricacies of the problem puzzles of Warren Colburn’s Intellectual Arithmetic. The winter before he was ten years old he completed in course Davis’ Written Arithmetic, “designed for academies and schools.” It cost him no effort to do this. When he read or had read to his ma mathematical proposition he at once mentally apprehended it. He never recited definitions or rules verbatim. He could explain them in his own language. Whether he was busy at play or at work in the garden or his father’s brickyard, there was no breakdown, no toppling

Page 256. over of the mental faculties. He was always ready to cut school to help a dog dig out a wood chuck. He was not over studious in books. He learned much in listening to the recitations of the more advanced pupils. He thus often surprised his teacher by knowing all about the lessons in advance of his class. “In manner and attitude he was supremely confident. In school games or class exercises he had complete assurance that he was correct and that he and his side were at the head. He thus made a capital leader in a contest of physical or mental skill. He bore defeat (when it came his way) with the air of a victor. When he won and when he lost he was on hand to again try conclusions with the odds against him. His congratulations to a successful opponent were most hearty and sincere – he was his friend. The contest was over and bygones were bygones. He thus made and held friends who esteemed him through life. “The ease with which he acquired all kinds of knowledge did not make him shun work. He was active and industrious. His mind was full of projects which he was anxious to work out and to which he did not hesitate to put his hands. In the years of his advanced schooling he could carry the school’s programme and at the same time earn his own living.”

Mr. Bosard’s father was provost marshal during the Civil war. His grandfather, Andrew, was a native of Monroe county, Pa., and served his country in the war of 1812. Our subject was a good Latin student. At the age of fourteen he attended the Wellsboro academy, and while there made his home with the family of Rev. N. L. Reynolds, whose daughter, Miss Reynolds, was at one time matron of the University of North Dakota, and whose wife had charge of the mother work of the W. C. T. U. of Pennsylvania. At an early age he taught school in his native village. His father and mother were both school teachers. He began the study of law at Wellsboro in the office of M. F. Elliott, now counsel for the Standard Oil Company, and subsequently attended the State Normal School at Mansfield, from which he graduated in 1866. He taught school at Addison, N. Y., for two years, and then resumed his law studies at Wellsboro, was admitted to the bar in 1870, and formed a partnership with Mr. Elliott, which continued seven years. It is interesting to note that he and Ex-Governor William A. Stone, of Pennsylvania, were law students together and close friends during their early practice at Wellsboro. Governor Stone’s estimate of him as a young man and as a lawyer at that time deserves to be quoted. He writes: “As I knew him he was a worker and seeker after truth. We all looked upon him as something beyond the ordinary – a student who worked hard to get at the principle. He was splendid in this respect. He was an ardent searcher. For thirty-one years I have known nothing of him. If he did not become a great lawyer, then all our prophecies were wrong.”

Page 257. Mr. Bosard was married in 1872 to Miss Rebecca Faulkner, daughter of Dr. Faulkner, of Erie, Pa. Mrs. Bosard took a leading part in the social and musical activities of Grand Forks. She was one of the original members of the Thursday Musical club, often contributing to its success by her skill at the piano and in literary contributions. He had three younger brothers, George, Jerome and William, all deceased. Also three sisters, Mrs. Marie Mitchell, now of Devils Lake, N. D.; Mrs. Florence Bierly, who died at Williamsport, Pa., in 1875, and Mrs. Sarah Bierly, who died in 1907, survived by her husband, Willis M. Bierly, a publisher in Philadelphia, and formerly of Grand Forks. Mr. Tubbs calls the Bosard family German, but they were Swiss German. They were in Lucerne in the early part of the 16th century. In a conversation years ago Mr. Bosard informed the writer their family was Helvetian, and, although about the time of Caesar that valiant race disappeared from history, some to mingle with the encroaching Germans, others to merge in the greater Gaul, yet the blood probably is distinguishable, and it may be hazarded from what is known of our subject’s political loyalty, that if he could have been present in the famous struggle, he would have been found, not with Caesar’s trimmers, but with the knightly Vercingetorix, fighting the last battle for Gallic liberty.

When the partnership with Mr. Elliott was dissolved, the old Helvetian blood asserted itself and, becoming restive within the narrow confines of Tioga county, our subject looked longingly towards the great west. At that time he could have had no proper conception of the Dakotas of today. But even in its prairie state, Dakota must have seemed to him a land of great promise when he arrived here in 1878 and established himself at Grand Forks in his chosen profession. Twenty-eight years later, in October, 1907, when he was arguing his last case in the supreme court of the state, he could have cited the 113th volume of the Northwestern Reporter, the first volume of which was published in 1879 when he arrived in Dakota. In the fabric of that publication his life had been interwoven with the lives of many other attorneys. He was successful in a majority of nearly a hundred of his cases which were taken to the court of last resort. As he was generally opposed by lawyers of the best standing in the state, who, of course, might also be expected to score an average success, his ability as a lawyer of the first rank in his adopted state is firmly established. From a few characteristics cited above by Mr. Tubbs, it will be seen that Mr. Bosard early formed the habit of solving problems mentally, and from that we might readily infer his unusual ability to carry in his head all the facts of a complex transaction. In truth, the leading feature of our subject’s ability was his faculty of marshalling facts and presenting them to the court or jury in the most lucid and forcible manner. Bosard’s mind was mercury to the ore of evidence, and when the shapeless

Page 258. mass of material had passed through the trial process, he was able to present the result in shining nuggets of truth. Having a well trained memory and clear brain he was easily a fluent speaker, and became very useful in matters of public discussion, particularly as speaker in campaigns for the Republican party, of which he was a conscientious and devoted member. His most notable civic services were rendered in establishing, developing and building up the State Bar association, of which he was president, vice president and member of executive committee. Many valuable statutory modifications of the law were due to the exertions of our subject and his co-worker, the lamented Seth Newman. Through their exertions and their fearless prosecution of infractions of rules governing attorneys’ conduct, the standard of the bar has been raised. Mr. Bosard was also a member of the American Bar Association, and attended the Buffalo, N. Y., session of that body. He was state’s attorney of his native county before coming to Dakota and was state’s attorney of Grand Forks county for one term and city attorney of Grand Forks for several terms. He gave his name and talen[t] freely to all civic movements in his district and deserved well of his home and party, but notwithstanding his political loyalty, either because of political barter among pretended non-partisans, or because of that fatuity which attends unselfishness, when he aspired to judicial honors near the term of his distinguished career, the prize was like the talisman shown to tantalizingly by the bird in the story: “On branch after branch alighting, The gem did she still display. And when nearest and most inviting, Then waft the fair gem away.”

He was fortunate in his professional associates. Several of these have been mentioned. He was also a partner of Hon. Guy C. H. Corliss before the latter became the state’s first chief justice. In his later years his son, Robert H., studied in his office, and then attended the Columbian law school, and after admission to the bar, was his father’s partner till he went to Minot, where he is now city attorney. His other children are Florence H., now Mrs. Sidle Lawrence, of Los Angeles, Cal.; Helen B., wife of Major Farnsworth, U. S. A., stationed at Fort Wayne; Gerald F.; Sarah K., now Mrs. Ray Jackson, of Grand Forks, N. D., and Daphne, now Mrs. J. P. Marquette, wife of Attorney Marquette, of Minot. Our subject died at Grand Forks, N. D., on November 1, 1907, of paralysis resulting from a cerebral abcess. He was not so fortunate as his work deserved, but he has left in his reputation a treasure of character and mind that the wealthiest might envy. He and his esteemed wife saw in their family the promise of something greater

Page 259. than laurels or lucre, the perpetuation of ancestral talents and social qualities: “As the reflection of a light Between two burnished mirrors gleams, Or lamps upon a bridge at night Stretch on and on before the sight Till the long vista endless seems.” (Collections of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Volume II, Tribune, State Printers and Binders, Bismarck, 1908)


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